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  Italy's PM Conte battles on as Renzi eyes exit
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Last EditedBojicat  Jan 12, 2021 01:24pm
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News DateTuesday, January 12, 2021 07:00:00 PM UTC0:0
DescriptionItalia Viva, headed by former premier Matteo Renzi, has threatened to withdraw its two ministers in protest over various issues, but talks are still ongoing and Renzi is keeping Italy on tenterhooks over if, and when, he will make his move.

An Italia Viva source told Reuters it is unlikely to come immediately after the cabinet meeting scheduled for 21h30 (20h30 GMT).

The cabinet is due to approve a national plan for spending billions of euros promised by the European Union to relaunch the battered economy, which Italia Viva has strongly criticized.

On Wednesday (13 January) Renzi will hold a news conference, his party said, which is expected to clarify whether or not he remains in the coalition. If Italia Viva pulls its support, Conte would no longer have a working majority in parliament.

A source in Conte’s office said the prime minister would not seek a new coalition deal with Renzi if his ministers quit the cabinet, in a move that appeared to restrict options for the future in case the government falls.

Italian bond yields rose 10 basis points on Tuesday ahead of the cabinet meeting, the biggest daily rise since early November. The gap between the Italian 10-year-bond and the German rose from 110 to 118 basis points.

Days of behind-the-scenes talks have failed to bridge the differences and the leaders of the main coalition parties warned of dire consequences if Renzi, anxious to give his fringe party new impetus, acted on his threat.

“We are against opening a crisis that would prevent the approval of the national recovery plan and the economic aid for so many Italians, for so many businesses and small activities in difficulty,” Nicola Zingaretti, head of the Democratic Party (PD), said in a statement after a party leadership meeting.
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